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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2005 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.

6.4

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$454.00
Average Mileage:
74,011 miles
Total Complaints:
706 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (283 reports)
  2. not sure (194 reports)
  3. replace panel (100 reports)
  4. possible class action lawsuit (53 reports)
  5. call Ford motor company 1-800-241-3673 (26 reports)
  6. do not buy Ford again (24 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 36)

problem #706

Dec 262009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I like to keep any vehicle as long as possible. Taking care of it, maintenance, have necessary repairs done, etc. Usually my vehicles last for years and years. My Ford Explorer is now 10 years old with less than 80K miles. If I had wrecked my car in some way I would have had it repaired. I like my vehicle to look nice. From no abuse or neglect or accident of the owner, the body of my vehicle just cracks! Ridiculous!! Cracked body, what am I driving, an egg?????? So far I haven't had any problems related to the crack in the back hatch, but wouldn't it be expected that water seeping in through the cracks would damage the electronic door lock assembly? It seems the integrity of the Ford Company is nonexistent concerning this issue.

Ford Company had the government's help in bailing them out of financial failure. Now they are producing many vehicles that seem quite popular and the company's sales are up. I think more of their potential customers should be made aware of this silly problem that Explorer owners experience and the fact that Ford just doesn't stand behind their product, pure and simple.

Why don't we design a back panel sticker to cover the crack that reads, "Ford Motor Company doesn't cover the crack that appeared on this door because of poor design. What am I driving, an egg or a big tough vehicle? Buyer beware of Ford Motor Vehicles."

- , Willow Spring, North Carolina, USA

problem #705

Dec 152014

Explorer XLS 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

What can you say the Vehicle is ten yrs old the hinges had to be replaced and the pistons as well. I guess the stress was too much and one cold night the panel cracked, just to the right of the emblem from the top to bottom of the panel. I wouldn't waste my time with Ford they will just say how sorry they are to hear of my problem and is their any other way that we can help you.

- , Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #704

Nov 012014

Explorer XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Mine is not the only car this happened to and Ford should repair

- , Millburn, NJ, USA

problem #703

Nov 062013

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

So everyone and their mother with a Ford Explorer XLT 2004 (certain years) has experienced the crack below the rear tailgate window... and what has FORD done... NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!! NOT HAPPY

- , Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #702

Jan 012013

Explorer XLS 6.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My mother in law had her back window shatter because of this problem. This is crap!!!!!!Ford stand up and take care of your customers/ My next car may be from someone else.!!!!

- , Mooresville, IN, USA

problem #701

Nov 122012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

The rear hatch cracked for no apparent reason. Went out to the vehicle in the morning and found that the hatch was cracked. I have seen many other Ford explorers with the same problem since I discovered mine cracked. I have asked several persons with a cracked hatch on their Ford Explorers how their hatches cracked and they told me that it just cracked on its own. It is quite awful that Ford wont do anything about since the vehicle is out of warranty, but is is so obvious that all the cracks are in the same place that it was a manufacturing defect.

I also had to have the hinges for the hatch replaced and was told by Ford that they are an item that needs replacing every 5-6 years. It is a shame that Ford won't stand behind their products when it is clearly a manufacturing defect.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #700

May 052010

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The crack started small and now is full crack down the back. I have seen other explorers just like mine with the same crack. you would think Ford would stand behind their vehicles.

- , Longview, IL, USA

problem #699

Oct 312009

Explorer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

it was cracked when I purchased the vehicle. I see just about every vehicle with the crack on back panel.

- , Longwood, FL, USA

problem #698

Dec 012006

Explorer XLT 3.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Nothing to say. All explorers from this year have the same problem.

- , Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #697

Jun 062008

Explorer XLT

  • 50,000 miles

I have seen many, many, many cracked rear decks on Explorers just like mine !!!

Right next to the Ford emblem.

- , Denison, TX, USA

problem #696

Nov 062012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Yet another problem with my 2004 Explorer. This is the last straw. Ford products are no longer an option for my family. After replacing many major parts on this vehicle, I could have bought a Porsche and spent less money than what I've spent on repairs. Do yourself a favor. If you think you may want to buy a Ford Explorer, Don't Do It. You will absolutely regret it.

- , Assonet, MA, USA

problem #695

Dec 012010

Explorer

  • 140,000 miles

I paid a body shop to repair the crack and it happened again a year later.

- , Hammonton, NJ, USA

problem #694

Nov 012005

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

I have had a crack in the rear panel for almost a decade. I just deal with it but it's ugly and clearly bad workmanship. if there is a class action lawsuit I will gladly join it. Ford needs to know that this is unacceptable.

- , Tallahassee, Florida, USA

problem #693

Feb 072006

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

This car was fairly expensive and we were told the rear panel cracked due to opening and closing the hatch part of the rear door. My Ford dealer would not cover the entire cost but covered it all but $110 and adjusted the hinges on the rear door and I was told it would not happen again. Every time you open and closed the rear door it would slam you couldn't keep it adjusted. Within a year it was cracked again in the same exact place. Now I was really mad!! You know the worst part of it is that Ford refuses to fix the problem, and there is a problem and the reason I know there is a PROBLEM is because every Ford Explorer you see driving down the road has a cracked panel on the back. I did not buy a FORD vehicle my last purchase I bought a Nissan and have been very pleased it is 5 years old now and is paid for without even "1" problem. Just regular maintenance!! My Ford Explorer had a transmission problem months after I had it which was covered but still a hassle, and the rear panel cracked twice and is cracked now, never got it fixed the second time because it would be a waste of money, until they change the panel or the hinges. Then I had wheel-bearing problem on both back wheels (left and right) the roaring was so bad you couldn't stand to ride in the back seat much less the 3rd row seat. This was a very bad purchase for me. The vehicle sits in my yard now because I don't want to sell it to someone else my car problems. Would love for FORD to fix it so it could be sold.

- , Rockmart, Georgia, USA

problem #692

Sep 152008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Crack developed on rear window panel. It appeared years ago and AI've noticed so many Explorers on the road with the same problem.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #691

Mar 312014

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

I have always babied this car, it is kept clean and maintained. I always have something going on with it... this time it is the cracked back panel under the window. Ridiculous!

- , Canton, OH, USA

problem #690

Oct 012013

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,000 miles

FROM THE SOUND OF ALL THE COMPLAINTS FORD SHOULD HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM SOMEHOW. USUALLY YOU DON'T HEAR THAT MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT SOMETHING IF A FLUKE. I LOVE MY EXPLORER AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS TAKEN CARE OF.

- , Somerset, KY, USA

problem #689

Jan 012012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

The crack is minor compared to other problems I've had, i.e.: 3 wheel bearings, transmission replacement, hatchback window hinges breaking, multiple fluid leaks. And absolutely no sympathy from Ford customer, no-service.

- , Neenah, WI, USA

problem #688

Jul 032014

Explorer LX 5.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

Back panel on rear hatch crack all way thru Ford sign and hinges worn too.

- , Atchison, KS, USA

problem #687

Jun 052011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I guess ditto to all others will suffice. Big ole crack down tailgate just like every other Explorer. Still on the road because its transmission still kinda works.

- , Rockland, ME, USA

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